Data Explorer let’s you “Explore” (search) for web-based public data. This is a great way to combine data that you may have in your data-sources with public data sources for data analysis purposes. Sometimes your data might not tell you the reason behind the observed trends, so when that happens – you can try to see if a public data-set might give you the much-needed context. Let me give you an Example before we start hands-on w/ data explorer so that you have better understanding of importance of public datasets. Here’s a sample that I found here. So, Here’s a demo:
An auto company is seeing sales trends of Hybrid cars and SUV’s from the sales data-sources. But what is the reason behind that? company data does not show that. Someone hypothesizes that it might be because of gas prices. So they test out the hypothesis by combining gas prices information available via public data. And turns out gas prices might be the driving force of sales trends! SEE:
if the gas prices increase, then the sale of SUV go down and the sale of Hybrids go up:
You know that public data can be helpful! So how can you search for public data-sets? Well, You can manually search online, ask someone, browse through public data repositories like azure data market (and other data markets), there’s also a public data search engine! OR you can directly search for them via Data Explorer.
Here are the steps:
1) Excel 2010/2013 > Data Explorer Tab > Online Search > type “Tallest Buildings”
2) I selected one of the data-sets that said “Tallest completed building…. “
3) Now let’s do some filtering and shaping. Here are the requirements:
- Hide columns: Image, notes & key
- clean columns that has heights data
- Show only city name in location
OK, let’s get to this one by one!
4) Hiding Columns:
Click on Filter & Shape button from the Query Settings:
Select Image Column > Right Click > Hide:
Repeat the steps for notes & key column.
Click on DONE
5) clean column that has heights data.
Click on Filter & Shape to open the query editor
A) let’s rename it. Select column > Right Click > Rename to Height > press ENTER
B) let’s remove the values in brackets. Select Column > right click > split column > By delimiter > At each occurrence of the delimiter > Custom and enter “(” > OK
This should transform the data like this:
Hide height.2 and rename the height.1 to height
Click on DONE
6) Let’s just have city names in the location column
click on Filter & shape to load query editor:
A) select location > right click > split column > by delimiter > Custom – Enter: ° in the text box like this:
click on OK
Hide Location.2, Location.3, Location.4 & Location.5
Select Location.1 > Right Click > Split Column > by Number of characters > Number of characters: 2 > Once, as far right as possible > OK
Hide Location.1.2 and rename Location.1.1 to Location
One last thing! making sure that the data type of height is numbers.
Select height > change type > number
Select floors > change type > number
click on DONE. Here’s our filtered and shaped data!
7) LET”S VISUALIZE IT!
For the purpose of visualization I copied first 20 rows to a separate excel sheet and created a chart:
That’s about it for this post. Here are some related Posts on Data Explorer:
Unpivoting data using the data explorer preview for Excel 2010/2013
Merging/Joining datasets in Excel using Data Explorer add-in
Remove Duplicates in Excel Tables using Data Explorer Add-in
Web Scraping Tables using Excel add-in Data Explorer preview:
Your comments are very welcome!